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Post Independent
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

We the people of the U.S. are witnessing the rapid social and economic suicide of our country.

Those at the center of the 99 percent movement do not represent the majority of the American population. They are a small but growing group of individuals that Lenin and Saul Alinsky would have called useful idiots.

Unlike the Tea Party, if you take the trouble to actually read their protest signs and listen to their words, you will come to understand their so-called “coherent” message is really about misplaced blame, genuine racism, class warfare and ultimately the call for Marxism.



Presently they are being used, pushed and supported by most of our politicians on the left, unions, the media and very wealthy progressives who believe they stand to ultimately benefit from the decline and destruction of America as it has been.

Unlike the Tea Party, those who are “occupying” Wall Street and various locations around America are promoting our destruction. If left unchecked, they will eventually move to full-blown violent riots and bloodshed. Eventually we will all discover that we are not insulated from this and will find that our lives will be dramatically and negatively altered.



The person elected president on the vacuous platform of “Hope and Change” promised that he would fix all our social and economic woes. After nearly three years, he has and is intentionally spending America into oblivion, putting our decline into overdrive. He misdirects everyone’s attention on his policies and actions by blaming Americas woe’s on the wealthy.

This president has no previous experience in anything other than community organizing, meaning that he is adept at pitting the non-contributing have-not’s against the contributing have-something’s of our society.

As president, it is his duty to constitutionally promote the general welfare of American society. Instead, he and those who surround him are breeding contempt, hatred and civil disruption.

This is not about millionaires and billionaires as the president, his supporters and the so-called 99 percent would have you believe. This is about the destruction of the middle Class and the very foundation of America.

Lee Perkins

Glenwood Springs

Let’s be real: nobody is excited about higher property tax rates in a deep recession. The economic downturn has hit the Roaring Fork Valley particularly hard, and many people here are facing tough times.

So why would anyone vote yes to higher property tax rates for our school district?

Paradoxically, the best vote is a selfish vote. For those of us who own property and are concerned about the plummeting prices, a strong school system is one of the single best ways to protect our investments. Countless studies have shown the positive impact that a strong school system has on property values, and also on the economic vibrancy of the community that surrounds it.

It’s also worth noting that even with a yes vote on ballot issue 3E, we will still be paying less property taxes than we did in the boom times. In fact, owners of a $300,000 home will pay less than $10 additional per month for this mill levy, and the mill levy will not tax homeowners more as property values rebound.

Tyler Stableford and Megan Currier

Carbondale

Mike Keefe’s political cartoon published in the Oct. 14 Post Independent depicts a two-faced Eric Cantor and suggests that the Tea Party and the Occupy Wall Street movement are somehow morally equivalent.

Let’s examine this. On the one hand, we have a group of law-abiding citizens who work, pay taxes, and seek to use the ballot box to remove politicians who are misappropriating their tax dollars.

On the other hand, we have a ragtag group of malcontents off the set of “Les Miserables” with class envy on steroids, who want … what, exactly? Perhaps to guillotine 400 bankers a day at lower Manhattan’s equivalent of the Place de la Concorde? Gee, how about Rector Street, where Alexander Hamilton lies buried at Trinity Church? After all, isn’t he the guy responsible for the world of big banks and high finance that the “Occupy” crowd resents so fiercely?

These people appear to operate on the naive assumption that wealth is a finite commodity, and the reason that they have so little of it is because other people have so much of it.

Even if they were correct, and they’re not, what do they want, a socialist state where the only people with wealth are the ruling political class?

I suggest that our local “Occupy Glenwood” crowd read Snowmass resident Peter Wallison’s article in the Oct. 12 Wall Street Journal that argues who’s really responsible for the housing bubble and the subprime mortgage crisis: the government, starting in 1992.

Bankers only behave the way government makes them behave or encourages them to behave, so those who wish to protest outside some rich guy’s house should start with Chris Dodd’s or Barney Frank’s house, and then take it to the White House.

Chad Klinger

Carbondale

When I finished reading Stan Rachesky’s Oct. 10 letter to the editor on the local school mill levy issue, I sat back in my chair, shook my head, and asked myself, “Really?”

Do some people in our community really think that increasing our local class size from 22 to 30 students per class is the right thing to do?

Did Mr. Rachesky really just say that there is no research showing that decreased class size positively impacts the quality of our children’s education?

There are numerous studies that clearly show increased academic achievement with reduced class size. The Tennessee Study of Class Size (1995) is widely considered to be the most complete and well designed scientific study of class size reduction effects, and it shows an average performance increase from the 50th percentile to the 60th percentile in reduced size classes. It’s available at https://www.princeton.edu/futureofchildren/publications/docs/05_02_08.pdf

Did Mr. Rachesky really just imply that teacher’s salaries are too high?

Imagine that you just completed five years of college education and landed a teaching job in the Roaring Fork Valley. You will be paid approximately $33,000 a year before taxes and approximately half of that will go toward renting a modest two-bedroom apartment.

Therefore, you have about $15,000 a year to cover a car, phone, food, student loan payments and medical expenses. Now imagine chipping in for your classroom’s schools supplies, which many of our teachers do.

Please consider the impact that a 10 percentile difference will have on our kids and the long-term health of our community.

Craig Helm

Glenwood Springs

There are a lot of Western Slope residents who do not agree with Connie Harvey’s column of Sept. 30. If she thinks by saying that the wilderness and military use can coexist, she is blowing smoke.

Please realize there is already over 4 million acres of wilderness designated in Colorado. The Wilderness Workshop in Carbondale is bent on making Red Table acres more. It’s not because it’s needed; it’s because someone from New York wants it. They have added more in Gunnison County.

This 55,000-acre area does not need to be included in any wilderness area. The Forest Service has been taking care of it for years and years. The government uses it for training purposes.

Why is Ms. Harvey telling everybody that what is being told to our elected representatives is erroneous? Scott Tipton didn’t buy into it, Michael Bennett shouldn’t be buying into it and neither should Mark Udall.

We have other pressing matters in this country and it certainly is not the Red Table acres. It takes an act of Congress to change a place into a wilderness area. If you want to write your congressmen, do so, but do it because the economy is in trouble, not because we need more wilderness areas. We don’t.

Jane Spaulding

Carbondale

I am writing to urge voters to vote yes on 3E. I am retired with a fixed income and I no longer have any children in the Re-1 school district. I was well pleased with the education my children received in the Roaring Fork schools. I continue to support the district as one of the most educationally progressive school districts in the state.

This district has been dedicated to improving education for all students. Many new educational strategies have been introduced to provide students with a foundation for building careers in today’s volatile society. That education is now seriously at risk.

While the state still demands that school districts meet state requirements, it is no longer willing to help pay the expenses associated with the requirements. For four years it has reduced funding to school districts with the expectation that local communities will pick up the tab.

Roaring Fork District has not asked the community for help until now. In each of the previous years, the district has found ways to make reductions and still maintain the quality of education. There is nothing left to cut but teaching staff or programs. The result will be larger class sizes and fewer opportunities for students.

I would like to set the record straight concerning the claim that there is no research on class size and its effect on education. There is abundant research on the topic and it is clear that larger classes put students at a disadvantage educationally. Consider your child in kindergarten class of 30 instead of 18. (See for example the U.S. Department of Education’s research analysis at ed.gov/pubs/ReducingClass/Class_size.html)

It is time that we as a community step forward and prove that children and their education matter to us.

As an aside, it is ludicrous to vote for a board candidate who does not support the mill levy override.

Dale Parker

Glenwood Springs

I will be voting against ballot issue 3E and for Daniel Biggs in the upcoming election.

I think Mr. Biggs gets it that, in a time of record foreclosures, now is not the time to increase taxes on people struggling just to put food on the table and or a roof over their head. I personally have had to rent out my home that I designed and built. Now I get to couch surf.

Fifty percent of teachers burn out in the first five years of service. I personally believe that it will be a great day (like the bumper sticker says) when the military has to hold a bake sale and our schools have all the money they need.

As a lifelong humanist who has always voted for every tax increase presented to me, it does pain me to take this position. It is an embarrassment to me that Colorado is almost last in spending on education in the country.

I wish I could afford to vote for this, but having my property taxes double in the past couple of years, I have been looking forward to the day when I have to pay less on a home that I don’t get to live in.

It’s time to take from the wealthiest to make this country better for all people, including the wealthy. The Occupy Wall Street movement is evidence that many people feel strongly about this.

James Tonozzi

Glenwood Springs

Please cast your vote immediately: yes on 3E.

A yes vote on 3E for the Roaring Fork School District will help avoid overcrowded classrooms, extreme cuts in athletic and other extracurricular programs, the loss of vital, updated resources for kids in classrooms, and the “avoidance” list goes on.

Good, quality teachers need to be hired, placed and remain in their positions to ensure improved education in our district.

The time is now. Yes on 3E. Strong schools equal vibrant communities.

Julie Goldstein

Basalt

As a former public school teacher and a parent of two children who attend Crystal River Elementary School in Carbondale, I ask all registered voters to please vote yes for 3E. So many of us were afforded an education through the public education systems of our home states, states in which property taxes are quite a bit more than they are in Colorado. It is now our turn to insure that children of the Re-1 district get the same quality education that many of us received as children.

The minimal tax increase to each property owner will allow our children to continue to receive a quality education with the continuation of art, music, sports, proper staffing and low classroom numbers. The increase in property tax with a yes vote on 3E will be little more than a cup of coffee a day, or a burger and fries at Mc Donald’s.

The additional tax amount is equal to $36 per $100,000 in home value. This is a small price to pay to give our children, the future of our country, a chance to earn a quality education. If we do not properly education the children of today, what chance do they have to make positive contributions to the future of our nation? Please vote yes on 3E. The future depends on it.

Ashley Jardine

Carbondale


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